TRL, a global center for innovation in transport and mobility, has been appointed project management lead on the Digital Road for Evolving Connected and Automated Driving (DiREC) program.
DiREC, a two-year program that forms part of Europe’s CEDR Transnational Research Programme (TRP), aims to establish a connected and automated vehicle (CAV)-ready framework to prepare the highways for safe and smart CAV driving. TRL will also be providing technical support to a number of the work packages involved in the program.
DiREC will address the ability of highway infrastructure to support connected and automated driving (CAD). The project aims to provide a common vision for improved engagement between national road authorities (NRAs), service providers and OEMs, and will include tools to help NRAs understand the costs and benefits of delivering different types of infrastructure service to support CAD.
Alex Wright, chief technologist at TRL, said, “DiREC provides a framework for NRAs to develop innovative strategies to meet the challenges presented by connected and automated driving on their networks. We believe that establishing a CAV-ready framework will put the spotlight on what is important to NRAs and their partners when planning the adaptation of their own infrastructure.”
As the levels of CAD increase, there will be greater demand for road networks to provide additional infrastructure and services to improve safety and reduce congestion. The DiREC program aims to provide a clear picture of the risks, opportunities, impacts, responsibilities, and liabilities surrounding CAD, outlining a clear roadmap to address these alongside the tools to measure the progress being made toward CAV-ready networks.
Other members of the consortium include Delft University of Technology, the Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories (FEHRL), Arup, the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI), and the Technical Research Center of Finland (VTT).